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Eyeless Catfish Finds Its Way From Mexico to Texas

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By    |   Tuesday, 21 Jun 2016 11:03 AM

Eyeless catfish somehow found a way from Mexico to Texas, according to a University of Texas curator who found the rare species in a limestone cave at the Amistad National Recreation Area near Del Rio.

The endangered catfish, called Prietella phreatophila of Mexican blindcat, was thought to have only lived in Mexico, living in the Edwards-Trinity Aquifer system under the Rio Grande basin, according a university release.

The discovery adds to the theory that water-filled caves under the Rio Grande may connect the Texas and Mexico portions of the aquifer, noted the University of Texas.

The two catfish found in May have been relocated to the San Antonio Zoo.

"Since the 1960s there have been rumors of sightings of blind, white catfishes in that area, but this is the first confirmation," said Dean Hendrickson, curator of ichthyology at The University of Texas at Austin. "I've seen more of these things than anybody, and these specimens look just like the ones from Mexico."

Hendrickson told the San Antonio Express-News he has researched the Mexican blindcat for decades and he is not surprised to find them in Texas caves as well.

"There's this big aquifer in Coahuila where these things live," said Hendrickson. "These things have been around for a long time. They live in the cave in this geology, so we also expected they'd be on the Texas side because of the geology."

The Coahuila Aquifer is part of the Edwards-Trinity Aquifer system, which stretches from Oklahoma, across Central Texas and into Mexico, said the Express-News.

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Eyeless catfish somehow found a way from Mexico to Texas, according to a University of Texas curator who found the rare species in a limestone cave at the Amistad National Recreation Area near Del Rio.
eyeless, catfish, mexico, texas
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2016-03-21
Tuesday, 21 Jun 2016 11:03 AM
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